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Spring convocations at McGill University

Published: 10 May 2000

McGill University's first honorary doctorates of the new millennium are being conferred on a wide range of individuals during the months of May and June.

McGill University’s first honorary doctorates of the new millennium are being conferred on a wide range of individuals during the months of May and June. From moviemaker Robert Lantos to novelist Mordecai Richler and investment banker Arnold Steinberg, the list of recipients is impressive. Read on and see why:

D.Litt. Robert Lantos, Movie and television producer
Arts Convocation: June 7, 2000, 2 p.m.
Molson Centre, 1260 De la Gauchetière St.

Since co-founding Vivafilm in 1972, Quebec’s biggest film distributor that would later merge into Alliance Atlantis Communications, Robert Lantos has remained at the forefront of film distribution and production in Canada. A McGill graduate (BA 1970, MA ’72), some of his acclaimed film productions include Sunshine, Crash, The Sweet Hereafter (nominated for two Oscars), Exotica, Léolo, Black Robe, Joshua Then and Now and In Praise of Older Women. Mr. Lantos has also been active in TV production with series including Due South (12 Gemini awards including Best Dramatic Series), North of 60, E.N.G. and Night Heat. In 1999, Mr. Lantos was appointed to the Order of Canada in recognition of his entrepreneurial spirit, "which has enhanced the visibility and viability of Canadian film and television productions both nationally and internationally." Other distinctions include a Toronto Arts Award, the Chetwynd Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Business of Filmmaking in Canada and the J. Stuart Mackay Communicator of the Year Award from Ryerson Polytechnic University. Mr. Lantos currently produces motion pictures through his newest venture, Serependity Point Films, and serves as Chairman Emeritus of Toronto-based Alliance Atlantis Communications.

D.Litt. Mordecai Richler, Author
Arts Convocation: June 7, 2000, 2 p.m.
Molson Centre, 1260 De la Gauchetière St.

A leading author, essayist, and scriptwriter, Montreal-born Mordecai Richler is a prolific writer who shares his time between the Eastern Townships and London. His books include 1997’s Barney’s Version, (a Giller Prize and Leacock Award winner), The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1959), Cocksure (1967), St. Urbain’s Horseman (1971) and Joshua Then and Now (1980). Children’s works include Jacob Two- Two Meets the Hooded Fang (1975), Jacob Two-Two and the Dinosaur (1987) and Jacob Two-Two’s First Spy Case (1995). Mr. Richler is currently a columnist for The Gazette and the National Post and his journalistic work has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, GQ and Saturday Night. He has also penned screenplays for Life at the Top (1965), The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1974), Fun with Dick and Jane (1977) and Joshua Then and Now (1985). Mr. Richler’s many honours include two Governor General’s Awards (1968,’71), a Screenwriters Guild of America Award (1974), a Golden Bear Award from the Berlin Film Festival (1975) and a number of prizes for children’s literature.

LL.D. Roger D. Landry, Former President and Publisher of La Presse
Management Convocation: June 7, 2000, 9 a.m.
Molson Centre, 1260 De la Gauchetière St.

A native Montrealer, Roger D. Landry began his career in communications, marketing, and administration with Bell Canada. He was Assistant Director of public relations for the Universal and International Exhibition for Expo’67 and deputy director of Air Canada before founding his own firm of public relations consultants in 1970. In 1977 he assumed the position of Vice-President, Marketing and Public Affairs of the Montreal Baseball Club Ltd. (The Expos). President and publisher of La Presse from 1980 to 2000, Mr. Landry also served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Press, the Canadian Newspaper Association, and Les Quotidiens du Québec Inc. He currently co-chairs the Canadian Journalism Foundation. He has served as Chairman of the Board of the Opéra de Montréal and of the Board of the Société de la Place des Arts de Montréal. Mr. Landry was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1986, an Officer in 1992, and a Companion in 1997. He is an Officier de l’Ordre national du Québec and a Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur.

LL.D. Vojin Dimitrijevic, Director, Belgrade Centre of Human Rights; scholar
Law Convocation, June 2, 2000, 9:30 a.m.
Pollack Hall, 555 Sherbrooke St. W.

Vojin Dimitrijevic is an outstanding scholar who has worked in international law and human rights out of academic and personal reasons. Formerly a professor of international law and international relations at the University of Belgrade School of Law, he was dismissed in 1998 because of his opposition to the new University Act in Serbia. Since 1995, he has been Director of the Belgrade Centre of Human Rights. He chairs the Foreign Relations Council of the Civic Alliance of Serbia, an important group in the democratic opposition to President Milosevic. For many years Professor Dimitrijevic has been a member of the UN Human Rights Committee. He was President of the European Movement in Serbia and Chairman of the Council of Human Rights of the Centre for Anti-War Action in Belgrade. Professor Dimitrijevic has taken a strong stand against the war in former Yugoslavia and has constantly spoken out against nationalism and ethnocentrism.

D.Sc. Barry Sessle, Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto
Health Sciences Convocation, May 17, 2000, 10 a.m.
Monument National, 1182 St. Laurent Blvd.

Dr. Sessle has had a distinguished academic career as a scientist, teacher, and administrator. Currently dean and professor of dentistry and professor of medicine (physiology) at the University of Toronto, most of his research has focused on improving our understanding of pain, its reception, transmission, and perception. He has co-authored several books and more than 200 scientific articles and has organized several major scientific meetings. During nearly 30 years of research, his work has been continuously supported by both the Medical Research Council of Canada and the National Institutes of Health of the USA. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a member of the Canadian Academy of Science. He has received awards from the International Association of Dental Research and the Canadian Pain Society and served on the boards of many societies, including a term as president of the International Association for Dental Research. He is currently president-elect of the International Association for the Study of Pain and the chief editor of the Journal of Orofacial Pain.

LL.D. H. Arnold Steinberg, Investment Banker
Health Sciences Convocation, May 17, 2000, 3 p.m.
Monument National, 1182 St. Laurent Blvd.

A McGill graduate (Bcomm. 1954), Mr. Steinberg serves as principal at Cleman Ludmer Steinberg Inc. and was Chief Financial Officer of Steinberg Inc. for over 30 years. He currently sits on the boards of Bell Canada Inc., Teleglobe Canada Inc. and Provigo Inc. He has worked tirelessly for the Montreal Children’s Hospital, a relationship that began through a joint project with Dr. Charles Scriver on the addition of Vitamin D to the milk produced and sold in Quebec, which led to his co-chairmanship of the Capital Campaign for the MCH in 1969 and the founding presidency of the National Food Distribution Centre for the Treatment of Metabolic Diseases in 1974. He also served as chair of the Board of Governors of the MCH Research Institute for 20 years, founded the Chairman of Canadians for Health Research and was a founding trustee of the Inter-Service Clubs Council Foundation, which presents the yearly Telethon of Stars. Mr. Steinberg joined McGill’s Board of Governors in 1980 and has served on its Executive, Audit and Finance, and Investment Committees and was first Chair of the Board of the McGill University Health Centre. He is currently Governor Emeritus of McGill University and is a member of the Order of Canada.

D.Sc. Henry Friesen, Endocrinologist, Educator
Health Sciences Convocation, May 17, 2000, 3 p.m.
Monument National, 1182 St. Laurent Blvd.

An internationally known medical scientist and educator, Dr. Friesen served eight years as president of the Medical Research Council of Canada. In 1998 he was appointed chair of the Interim Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research to lead the transition process from MRC to CIHR. Dr. Friesen has held academic positions at both McGill and the University of Manitoba. A specialist in endocrinology, he is widely known for directing research and clinical trials into the effectiveness of using human growth hormone to stimulate the growth of very small children in a hormone-deficient state. His most important scientific contribution was the discovery of the human hormone prolactin and the development of a simple blood test to identify patients with tumors that secrete excessive amounts of the hormone. Among the many Honours he has received are the Gairdner Foundation Award and the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Foreign Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) and an Officer of the Order of Canada.

D.Sc. Jay Ingram, Science Journalist
Agricultural & Env. Sciences Convocation: June 2, 2:30 p.m.
Macdonald Campus, 21111 Lakeshore Rd.

Mr. Ingram is co-host and producer of Discovery Channel’s award-winning @discovery.ca, a daily science and nature newsmagazine. He also hosts his own weekly show called Discovery Connection. Before joining Discovery, Mr. Ingram hosted CBC Radio’s "Quirks and Quarks," from September 1979 to January 1992, a science program that earned a variety of Canadian Science Writers’ Awards and a Best Host award from ACTRA. In 1993 Mr. Ingram helmed "The Talk Show," a CBC Radio series about language which also won a Science in Society Journalism Award. He then presented items on the brain for the CBC-TV’s The Health Show. In 1984, he was awarded the Sandford Fleming Medal from the Royal Canadian Institute for his work popularizing science. He also earned the 1997 Royal Society of Canada McNeil Medal for the Public Awareness of Science. During his career, Mr. Ingram has taught chemistry and biology at Ryerson Polytechnical University, has authored seven books and wrote articles for Owl Magazine, a children’s magazine, for 10 years. He currently writes science columns for the Toronto Star and Equinox Magazine.

LL.D. Joy Maclaren (New Sun), Benefactor and Community Activist
Agricultural & Env. Sciences Convocation: June 2, 2:30 p.m.
Macdonald Campus, 21111 Lakeshore Rd.

As a McGill graduate (BSc ) Ms. Maclaren has not only been a generous benefactor but has also lent her energy and time to many worthwhile organizations and causes. She has supported education and research across Canada. She has made significant impact on improving the quality of life for Canada’s first peoples and helping secure their traditional knowledge and heritage. She has also had a major effect in initiating programs and services for the physically challenged. Ms. Maclaren was a key founder of the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind and has helped several institutions provide better wheelchair access and specialized computer systems for hearing and sight-impaired students. She has helped promote and strengthen the work of the Centre for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment and has ensured that the graduate and undergraduate nutrition laboratories are up-to-date and modern.

LL.D. Mitiarjuq Attasi Nappaluk, Educator
Education and Engineering Convocation: June 8, 2000, 9 a.m.
Molson Centre, 1260 De la Gauchetière St.

Although formal schooling was unavailable to her in her youth, Ms. Nappaluk has spent a lifetime committed to teaching, learning, and sharing knowledge. For over 20 years, until her retirement in 1996, she was involved with the Kativik School Board as a teacher and consultant for language and culture. She is author of the first novel written in Inuttitut, the compiler of an encyclopedia of traditional Inuit knowledge, and a promoter of understanding between the Inuit and southern cultures. She is committed to preserving her language and culture for future generations and to sharing her knowledge of Inuit ways and traditions, songs and stories. In 1999 she received the Aboriginal Achievement Award from the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation for Heritage and Spirituality.

LL.D. Robert Glaser, Psychologist; Academic
Education and Engineering Convocation: June 8, 2000, 9 a.m.
Molson Centre, 1260 De la Gauchetière St.

An internationally recognized scholar in the psychology of learning, cognition, and instruction, Dr. Glaser’s work has focused on thinking and reasoning in instruction and the relation between cognitive science and educational measurements. He is a pioneer in work linking the psychology of learning and instruction, analysis of fundamental learning processes in several domains, studies of the cognitive processes in aptitude performance, exploration of the nature of expertise and a landmark article formulating the concept of criterion-reference testing. He is currently Professor Emeritus at a unit he founded in 1963 and directed until 1997, the Learning Research and Development Center of the University of Pittsburgh. He is author or co-author of over 20 books and 220 articles, and edits the Advances in Instructional Psychology series.

D.Sc. James Redpath, Engineer, President of RME Capital Corp., Chancellor of Nipissing University
Education and Engineering Convocation: June 8, 2000, 9 a.m.
Molson Centre, 1260 De la Gauchetière St.

A McGill graduate (BSc, Mining Engineering, 1958), Mr. Redpath is the founder of two companies, RME Capital Corp. and J.S. Redpath Ltd., the latter being a corporation with worldwide operations that has sunk some of the deepest mines around the globe and specializes in Arctic work. He is also author or co-author of numerous technical papers and was awarded the Engineering Medal by the Association of Professional Engineers of the Province of Ontario and the Past President’s Medal by the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. A well known philanthropist and arts patron, Mr. Redpath has worked on various advisory and acquisition committees in the fine arts and played a leading role in fund-raising to build the North Bay Arts Centre. In 1991, he received the Lescarbot Award from the North Bay Arts Centre on behalf of the Government of Canada for his contributions to the community cultural affairs of North Bay. Throughout his career, Mr. Redpath has maintained close ties with McGill and the Faculty of Engineering.

D.Sc. Rosemary Grant, Biologist, Academic
D.Sc. Peter Grant, Biologist, Academic
Music & ScienceConvocation: June 8, 2000, 2 p.m.
Molson Centre, 1260 De la Gauchetière St.

Peter and Rosemary Grant, both of whom now teach at Princeton University, began studying Darwin’s finches on the Galapagos Islands in 1973 when Peter was a professor in McGill’s Department of Biology. While they have carried out a wide range of studies on various species and different islands of the archipelago, they are best known for their work on two species on one small island. By careful measurements of the population over the course of major weather changes such as El Niño events and droughts, they were able to show that evolutionary changes in beak size and body size can occur in as little as two years. This groundbreaking work has been reported in leading journals and synthesized in two major books, Ecology and Evolution of Darwin’s Finches by Peter Grant and Evolutionary Dynamics of a Natural Population: The Large Cactus Finch of the Galapagos, by Rosemary and Peter Grant. Peter and Rosemary Grant have been full partners in research over the many years of their studies. They have already shared two prestigious prizes, the Leidy Medal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and the E.O. Wilson Prize of the American Society of Naturalists.

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